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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2016 Literary Classics Gold Book Award for YA Series and recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Darcy Pennington hates her life. She is an insufferably average teenager with no real friends, crushing social anxiety, and an indescribable sense of not fitting in anywhere. A change in her dad's job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Family Camp the summer before her eighth-grade year, and Darcy once again finds herself on the outside of a social circle of teenagers, with her only advocate being an awkward girl named Samantha Palm. The only problem is, Darcy has no desire to be friends with her, but as the hostility from the other teenagers increases, she decides to return the friendship.

When Darcy begins to experience strange magical occurrences, she comes to believe she's either losing her mind or on the brink of a discovery that could give her purpose in life. After unwittingly stumbling through a magical gateway to a new world called Alitheia, she convinces Sam and the other four teenagers to travel there with her, and despite their earlier hostilities toward her, they eventually concede leadership of their small group to Darcy. Once there, they learn the "arrival of the Six" was prophesied hundreds of years before and that they must expel an ancient evil from the land. In the end their lives, and the fate of Alitheia, will hinge upon Darcy. Will she have what it takes to fulfill her mysterious purpose? Or will she fall prey to a deadly foe?

©2012, 2018 Karin Hoyle (P)2018 Karin Hoyle

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

At last in Audio!

I originally read this entire series on kindle in 2012. Even then, I longed to hear the story and the characters come to life in audio. What a talented narrator could do with these marvelous stories, I could only imagine. I was most definitely not disappointed. The narrator gave each character its own distinctive voice, to the point that even without dialog tags, I always knew who was speaking. Her voice for Yahot Veli, was exactly what I had imagined it would be, for instance. This series is pure delight. Young adult fantasy, with a group of kids, everyone of any age, can relate to. I related to darcy in big ways. at her age, I too was shy, awkward and insecure. And then to enter a land of magic, to be part of a long-awaited mission to save the land, with fascinating characters and struggles along the way. It's everything that is wonderful and perfect in a book, with all the range of emotion, joy, sorrow, fear, hope, defeat, triumph. I love these books as much as I love Harry Potter. They have been compared to Narnia by some, but for me, they are far superior, because as an older adult, these books draw me in, from the first line. I've reread them multiple times and always get something new and love them as much each time. Thanks to K B Hoyle for writing these true gems, and to Dollcie webb for her beautiful job of bringing them to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Such a good series beginner

The story is well written and has definitely got me hooked in to the series. I had a tough time being a little frustrated with the main character, but I think that is the point. The story is very good, so it does make up for disliking any of the characters. The characters are growing, so I look forward to seeing what they become in the future.

I'm SO glad this finally came out on audio. The reader did a good job and obviously cares a lot for the book. I personally don't care for the music transitions between each chapter, but they are minimal and easily overlooked. It just makes it seem a little more "Audible Kids" than I think was intended by the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A phenominal reading of an enjoyable story

I typically don't read YA fiction, but I definitely found a lot of enjoyment out of this one! This was due, at least in part, to the narration given by Mrs. Webb. I think her way of giving each character their own voice added so much energy to the story in a way that genuinely made me care about them as individuals. (I especially enjoyed the voice given to the elderly wizard, Rubidious.)

I do have to admit that there were some moments in the story where I found myself frustrated by the main character, as she made a few choices that simply didn't make sense for her to make - even given her anxiety. Thankfully though, I don't think those few moments overshadow the story as a whole, considering that those moments helped to build a beautifully positive message — especially for the younger readers this book was written for.

The setting of the story feels truly magical, and I had a blast learning about the lore and social makeup of the world our characters are discovering. (What can I say, I'm a sucker for world-building.)
It does, unfortunately, have the issue that so many 'series firsts' have, in that there is so much time establishing the cast of characters and framing their early interactions that the real meat of the plot feels a bit rushed. That said, I am absolutely not holding that against it, as I would be extremely surprised if the later books in the series do anything close to the same. I'm looking forward to the release of the next book in the series to see how the author builds on the foundation that this title created!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful